"A woman named Martha opened her home to him" (Luke 10:38 NIV).
I personally feel that Martha has been much maligned. There are two sides to us all, a harmony -- an equanimity -- to our natures that includes the Martha-side as well as the Mary-side. It takes the oars of both faith and works to row our ship through earth's uneven waters. The Martha in us takes care of the practical in life: the everyday cleaning and toiling and taking care of our families and the necessary duties of each day; the Mary in us takes care of the spiritual in life: the everyday concern in prayer for others when we join Jesus in the Garden each morning and have Him hold us close to Him while we love Him and thank Him and bring before Him our loved ones and our not-so-loved ones who we want to love.
The Mary in us studies to do well; the Martha is us does well. We need both. Perhaps there is a lesson here that we have not before considered. Martha worked very hard to feed at least thirteen extra people that day. She was the angel for this hungry and tired group. While Mary had the privilege of sitting at the feet of Jesus and absorbing wisdom, Martha was busy preparing the meal. We are told, "But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made" (v.40). Surely this is understandable. Just ask any harried and hurried wife and mother!
We all can relate to Martha as well as Mary. Let us remember that God is a God of the hearth-keeper as well as the heart-keeper. Let us remember it was Martha who unwittingly fulfilled the hospitality call: "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it" (Hebrews 13:2). Also, when their brother Lazarus died it was Martha who went forth to meet Jesus: ". . .She went out to meet him, but Mary stayed home" (John 11:20).
Some of us are the meeters and greeters and some of us are the quiet ones who wait at home. Neither should be criticized. I have a dear friend who I have nicknamed Martha, for she is the one who is there for the potlucks, cooking and then cleaning up the mess. She calls me Mary because I'm the one would rather teach our rowdy teens about the Book of Proverbs!